Play It Again, Sam (1972)

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Released 4-Dec-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 82:07
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Herbert Ross
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Woody Allen
Diane Keaton
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Billy Goldenberg


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
Spanish
French
Italian
Danish
Dutch
Norwegian
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Think of classic Woody Allen and films like Annie Hall and Manhattan immediately spring to mind, not to mention Diane Keaton. Well, this is an early Woody Allen film (in fact, the first featuring Diane) but it does not seem to be as famous as the other two.

    Maybe the problem is that it is set in San Francisco rather than New York City. I don't know about you, but I find it very hard to imagine Woody as a Californian, let alone living in San Francisco. But don't worry, apart from a few gratuitous shots of rolling hills, streetcars and the bay, this story might as well be set in New York.

    Allan (Woody Allen) is a man who is obsessed with Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca - so obsessed that he regularly imagines Humphrey (Jerry Lacy) talking to him and giving him advice on his life and relationships. Speaking of relationships, his wife Nancy (Susan Anspach) has recently left him, so he is feeling very depressed.

    His best friends Dick (Tony Roberts) and Linda (Diane Keaton) tries to match make him with various girls, with hilariously disastrous results. Allan and Linda end up falling in love with each other, creating a love triangle that Humphrey has to end up helping to resolve.

    This is an interesting film in that it reminds me strongly of Annie Hall and yet contains the slapstick common to early Woody Allen movies. I like the fact that Dick has this compulsion to update his office with the nearest phone number he can be contacted on no matter where he is. Allan's spastic clumsiness is painful to watch, but his neuroticism and hypochondria is familiar Woody Allen territory.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in widescreen 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, based on a 35mm print (presumably with an intended viewing aspect ratio of 1.85:1).

    The transfer is somewhat soft, dark and grainy. Colours appear to be somewhat subdued and faded, though contrast and black levels are quite good.

    I did not notice any film marks, nor any significant instances of compression artefacts.

    There are a number of subtitle tracks on the disc. Curiously the subtitle menu mentions both English and English for the Hearing Impaired, but I can only find an English subtitle track using PowerDVD. The accuracy of the English subtitle track is about average. I did not notice any dialogue attribution, nor significant transcription of non-dialogue foley effects.

    This is a single sided single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are a number of audio tracks on the disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s), Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s). I listened to the English audio track.

    The audio track is listenable, though lacking in extreme high or low frequencies, and sounded very very mono apart from background music.

    I did not have any difficulty understanding the dialogue, and did not notice any audio synchronization issues.

    The background music is very reminiscent of "golden oldies" films and include snippets of songs such as As Time Goes By.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras included on this disc.

Menu

    The menu is static but 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 and 4 versions of this title appear to be similar (no extras), apart from NTSC vs PAL formatting, and the presence of additional foreign language audio and subtitle tracks.

Summary

    Play It Again, Sam is an early Woody Allen film and is the first one of his films featuring Diane Keaton.

    The video transfer is mediocre.

    The audio transfer is mediocre.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Thursday, November 28, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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